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Terrified of MS(14 Posts)
I've posted about this before but I suppose I'm just looking for reassurance/a handhold.
A few weeks ago, I started to experience tingling in my fingers and my right arm went quite numb. It was especially bad when driving and after carrying my heavy rucksack. I could feel a sort of pull/stiffness in my shoulder blades and upper back (which is still there now, I can feel it as I type).
Essentially, I'm terrified that I have MS. My mum has it and the family connection is really worrying me. I went to a chiropractor who thinks that it's something mechanical (a running injury to my sacroiliac (sp?) joint having a knock-on effect up my spine, including to one shoulder blade and my C7 vertebrae). Prior to this, I had phoned my GP in a panic and he did an urgent neurology referral for me.
I had this appointment on Monday and the neurologist has referred me for an MRI of my head and neck. Is this standard or would she have spotted something during the tests of my reflexes and not told me? She said that she couldn't see a difference in strength between my left and right, which is reassuring, and I know that things like my Babinski reflex is normal.
I don't have any other symptoms (balance, bladder, cognition are all fine) and my optician recently did an OCT scan which was completely fine. I'm just getting myself in a panic. The MRI will be after Christmas but I'm petrified of the whole thing.
As a bit of background, I do have some health anxiety - in the past, I've worried about having bowel cancer, ovarian cancer, being pregnant, being infertile, having a brain tumour, etc. But even as I talk myself out of my MS worry, I'm worried that this is actually it, if you see what I mean. I've started to talk to my therapist about health anxiety and she's given me some really helpful exercises but I'm still doubting everything.
Can anyone reassure me? Would I have started to have other symptoms if this were MS? Is it all in my head? Sorry
Well I saw a neurologist recently. She does not think I have a neurological problem but sent me for a head and spine MRI anyway.
Thank you for replying, avocadochocolate. Do you mind me asking why your neurologist referred you for the MRI? Is it just a routine next step? I hope you're feeling better now.
The MRI will show up what is causing the tingling. I know what you mean about the hereditary link, my ex husband & his sister both have MS, we were told that the chances of more than one family member having it are 1:100000. Try to not worry until you have something solid to worry about it, it could be a trapped nerve or Vitamin B12 deficiency, both of which are easily fixable.
Thank you, @Nat6999. I think the chances are small but it seems scary all the same. I had blood tests for vitamin deficiencies that the GP just said were 'fine', no more details than that. I don't know if they tested for B12. I have a sometimes vegan/sometimes veggie kind of diet, so I suppose I could be susceptible to having low B12. Would it be worth asking for a copy of my blood results? I've heard that the NHS boundaries are quite low for these things and my levels might be 'acceptable' but actually not very good, if that makes sense?
I think I was sent for the MRI so that the neurologist has more evidence to demonstrate that I do not have a neurological condition.
I was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia last year and was referred to a neurologist as TN can be a symptom of MS. He referred me on for an MRI - the neurological tests he performed at the appointment were fine but I had other symptoms which caused concern (I have rheumatoid arthritis and also have flashes in my vision, tingling in my limbs and scalp and 'twitchy' thumbs). Plus there is some MS in my family (an aunt has it) so he just wanted to err on the side of caution. The MRI was clear and he put my symptoms down to my RA.
It was a very worrying time so I understand how you feel, OP. One thing that kept me going while I was waiting for the MRI was that there is excellent treatment available now even if I had it.
All the best
Thank you, both
I think I wanted the neurologist to say 'don't be silly, of course you don't have MS', but then they wouldn't be doing their job, would they? I see why they have to do the MRI. It's the waiting that is the worst part, I think.
I don't get on all that well with my mum and there is a bit of a history of emotional abuse on her part throughout my childhood and into adulthood as well. I think that's what has thrown me too - the thought of having this link/similarity with her when I was just starting to put up some healthier boundaries and get on with my life.
Might be carpal tunnel syndrome? But do get CBT for your health anxiety. Obsessing and seeking confirmation may be ocd related.
Good luck and a merry Christmas 🎄.
I had the exact same experience, except that I had many more symptoms and it had gone on and off for over a year. I was convinced Ihad MS, it was a difficult time.
Saw the neurologist, conducted all the tests. In the end, he said he didn't think it was MS but would send me for head MRI. My symptoms were at worse then, but the results came back perfectly normal. My symptoms disappeared there and then. It was all due to anxiety.
I've had that symptom and lots more for 2-3 years. I've had head MRI which did come back abnormal but no MS (mini-stroke instead) and now doing spine MRI. Don't expect that to show anything as never have spine pain.
I think a lot of people get MS symptoms with anxiety or other conditions so would be fairly hopeful yours will be OK. Even if its not its better its diagnosed and treated. My spine one is on 31 December but they said 4 months for results, have follow-up in March though so hopefully hear then. I try not to think about it as I can't change anything. I'm also an anxious person. I've been told it won't be MS but a problem with the spine they said would explain all symptoms. No idea what problem and didn't ask as I will worry but no pain and many spine conditions are very painful. I had clonus x 4, weak right side and a few other things show on neurological tests and first symptom was overnight bladder issues. I thought it was infection, doctor said not but cause not found. I suspect some neuro symptoms of mine are anxiety but my balance is terrible 24/7 and came on suddenly too.
I suffered terrible health anxiety in my early 30s and was convinced I had MS then MND. I had various symptoms, all very real.
I honestly can say it’s entirely possible to suffer neurological symptoms due to a worry about having them.
I think your GP is being ultra cautious.
Also - look into B12 deficiency and its symptoms. Take your Vit D
Thank you everyone for your responses. Anxiety is a strange thing, isn't it? I spoke to my therapist who said that the symptoms you feel with anxiety are real, it's not that you're imagining them, you do feel them physically but it's because of the body's stress response. DP thinks it's a sports injury that's been aggravated. I'm sort of looking forward to knowing either way and then I need to really draw a line under the health anxiety and get over it. Will definitely take Vit D and B12 as well just in case! Thank you, all
I too ended up having a head MRI and like you wished that the Doctor would just have told me there was no need. But you'll see after it has been done you'll hopefully be able to dismiss the MS scenario. I too have had health anxiety all my life and I know how you feel. Just talke it easy till the scan and try to be positive.